Last year, a suggestion led me to experiment a bit with KG's (that's Knitting Grandma, to long-time blog readers) fudge recipe. KG's chocolate-walnut fudge is a family favorite, and she makes pounds of it every year. What else, I wondered, could I do with that recipe?
I tried various things. Chili and cinnamon, peppermint, and almond varieties come to mind. Then someone suggested Nutella. You know Nutella, right? It's that chocolate and hazelnut spread that all the Europeans like way more than peanut butter. They even like Italian Nutella much better than the stuff you can buy in the US. [True story! Sven is 100-percent convinced that the Nutella you can buy in Italy is far superior to the stuff that graces the shelves of our Key Foods.]
Colleen's Nutella Fudge
1 3/4 c. sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 stick butter or margarine
2/3 c.evaporated milk
1 Jar (7 1/2oz) Marshmallow Fluff
3/4 tsp. hazelnut extract (Last year I had trouble finding this. THIS year, I notice that my local market stocks it.)
1 12-oz. Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips
1/2 c. chopped hazelnuts
1/2 c. hazelnut butter (Even as a NYer I had trouble finding hazelnut butter. I finally found it at Kalustyans, for those of you who are local. If you're not in the area you can order online from Kalustyans, the hazelnut butter is item 231H02
Grease a 9-inch square baking pan; set aside.
In large saucepan (2 quarts is a good size) combine the first 5 ingredients. Stir frequently (if not constantly) over low heat until blended. Increase heat to medium and bring the mixture to a boil. Stir the mixture slowly so that you don't mix in a lot of air and confuse yourself as to whether or not the bubbles are just air escaping or the mixture beginning to boil. Boil slowly for five minutes, stirring constantly.
After five mintues, remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the hazelnut extract and the chocolate until chocolate is completely blended melted. Add the hazelnut butter and chopped nuts and blend those completely into the mixture. Turn into greased pan and cool. I usually slice my fudge before it's completely cooled off--it makes it easier that way.
Makes 2 1/2 pounds of fudge, and you the hit of the party!
Okay. It wasn't exactly true to write "nothing but knitting" yesterday. I have to admit that I also played tourist:
The view at night from the Empire State Building:
The thing that always struck this suburban girl whenever she viewed a city from high above is how it seemed to go on forever and ever. I guess that I'm still amazed by that visual, but now I'm starting to recognize where various pieces are and it doesn't seem so enormous. No matter what, though, it's still pretty cool.
I wished the Brooklyn Bridge a happy one-two-five (that's 125th):
And I went to a family wedding. Where I saw (for a brief moment) Kate:
Kate's a busy girl who likes to run around:
And I think that's okay. In fact, I noticed that the only thing that would slow down Kate was the promise of a good meal.
Incidentally, Sven and I rented a car to travel to said wedding. You might know (or have guessed) that we are delightfully car free here in NYC. It's fair to say that I don't miss my car for a second. At first I enjoyed ignoring opposite-side parking rules, the freedom from worrying about my car on the street, and the ability to forget about scheduled maintenance. I can now add to that list the ability to be blissfully unaware of gas prices (yes, yes, higher gas prices mean increased costs elsewhere, but humor me here for a moment). We had to buy gas in Connecticut on Friday. Egads!!! It cost something like $50 to fill up our teeny tank. That would really cut into the yarn budget if I had to do that once a week. A Hummer (I know!) pulled up to the pump across from us. I wanted to stay to see how much the driver spent filling up the tank, but we didn't have time.
Not quite. But I am off to my third city in just as many weeks. No I'm not moving again (I don't even want to think about that.) I'm off to Chicago, then Racine, Wisconsin for a vacation. Does anyone know any good yarn stores out that way?
So, I'll see you all in about a week.
Meanwhile, a picture of the cardigan in Astoria Park, with the Triborough Bridge in the background.